There’s no way we can achieve results from exercise without working out, right?
This might sound like blasphemy, but scientists are working on a magic exercise pill to help the body exercise without working out. As unsettling as it may sound to reap the advantages of exercise without exerting any effort, it’s amazing to think that science may soon make this into reality.
A group of researchers in Australia studied the changes of muscles on a molecular level and how exercise results in health benefits. “Many of these benefits of exercise arise from contracting skeletal muscle,” said Benjamin Parker, PhD, the author of the study and researcher in the Department of Physiology and Anatomy at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Muscle biopsies were taken from study participants both before and after they engaged in various forms of exercise, including resistance, sprint, and endurance training. They found that the C18ORF25 gene, which was the identical gene across all cases, was activated.
When tested in mice, defects in the muscles and reduced exercise capacity was apparent in mice that had this gene removed. In mice that had this gene activated, muscle function was gained. “Our study identifies C18ORF25 as a new exercise gene to promote muscle benefits,” said Parker.
Now how would we exercise without working out? Where’s that magic exercise pill? Well we’re still in the early stages of research it seems. Scientists from Baylor College of Medicine and Stanford School of Medicine looked into the molecules that our bodies produce when exercising. They found that one compound, named Lac-Phe (N-lactoyl-phenylalanine), increased as the intensity of the exercise increased.
Scientists discovered that Lac-Phe may also regulate our food cravings. When injecting the molecule into obese mice, the mice ended up eating less food and eventually lost weight. That said, when given Lac-Phe in pill form, the results were ineffective, mostly likely due to stomach acids breaking down the pill.
It’ll probably be years before these discoveries can be developed to actual use. Until then, to exercise without working out is still a dream.